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This Charming Man: USA's White Collar Remains Stylish and Sleek

In its second season, USA's stylish caper drama White Collar , which stars Matthew Bomer, Tim DeKay, Marsha Thomason, Willie Garson, and Tiffani Thiessen, has only gotten more charismatic and accomplished, displaying an engaging mix of sophistication, humor, and complexity while introducing a winning selection of guest stars to the mix. Much of the first season focused on Neal's efforts to track down his errant ex-girlfriend Kate (despite a decided lack of chemistry between the two), but a cliffhanger ending--in which the plane Neal was meant to be boarding with Kate exploded right in front of him, killing her instantly--has not only given Neal a tragic element to overcome but also sets up the sweep of the sophomore season. While the action on a weekly basis still focuses on the crime of the week, which gives the superb team of Bomer and DeKay numerous opportunities to bounce off of one another, there's an intriguing overarching plot to the season, one that is soaked in

Talk Back: Showtime's The Big C

Now that Showtime's new Laura Linney led dark comedy The Big C has premiered, I'm wondering just what you thought of it. You can read my thoughts on the first three episodes here , but I'm curious to know your take on The Big C . What did you think of the pilot episode? Does Linney's Cathy anchor the humor and pathos of the subject matter? What did you think of Oliver Platt as Cathy's supremely immature husband Paul? Or their outrageously ill-behaved teenage son? Were you turned off at all by Cathy's homeless brother and did it seem one step too far to go this early in the show? Was there enough of a throughline for the episode or did it seem too detached and episodic at times? And, most importantly, will you tune in again next week? Talk back here. Next week on The Big C ("Summertime"), the reality of how little time she has left leaves Cathy with an inclination to explore and appreciate her body for the first time; Cathy's husband Paul as

Channel Surfing: HBO Renews Tim, Prison Break's Chris Vance Targets Dexter, The Good Wife, 90210's Gay Character Revealed, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Sometimes the networks taketh and sometimes they give back. Deadline's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that HBO has had a change of heart about animated comedy The Life and Times of Tim , which it cancelled two months ago. The pay cabler has now reversed its position on the cult hit, ordering a third season of Tim , with ten episodes slated to air sometime next year. Media Rights Capital, the production company behind the project (along with Good Humor TV), attempted to shop Tim to other networks--including Comedy Central, Adult Swim, and TBS--but no buyer materialized... and now the project has headed back to HBO. [Editor: I'm relieved as I was really upset when I heard earlier this year that the series wasn't going to get picked up.] ( Deadline ) Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that Chris Vance ( Prison Break ) has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on Season Five of Showtime's Dext

Counter-Culture Blues: The Rejected on Mad Men

It was only a matter of time before Peggy Olson found the counter-culture. Or, one supposes, the counter-culture of the mid-1960s found Peggy Olson. Rejection seemed to be on the minds of everyone in this week's "swell-egant" episode of Mad Men ("The Rejected"), written by Keith Huff and Matthew Weiner and directed by John Slattery, which revolved around the generational gap and in the transition of old ideas to new ones. Is it that young women want to find themselves beautiful, to partake in rituals of feminine beauty, or is that they're only looking to snag a husband? Is matrimony the expected outcome of any encounter? The rejections experienced weren't just romantic ones--though they threaded through this week's installment--but also intellectual ones, that Peggy could chose to align herself not with the aged men in the lobby of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce but with the vibrancy of youth, with a generation of forward-thinking individuals--artis

Cycle of Death: Everything is Broken on True Blood

There's no use crying, as they say, over spilled blood. Everything must come to an end. The precipitous peace brokered between the American Vampire League and the human government came crashing down around everyone's heads this week as the humans got a sight of the true nature of vampires. But while the truth came out in a most shocking, hysterical, and dramatic way, courtesy of Russell Edgington, this week's episode of True Blood ("Everything is Broken"), written by Alexander Woo and directed by Scott Winant, dealt with the impermanence of life in many different ways. It wasn't just the death of an idea--or a political movement (the fragile nature of the Great Revelation)--that this week's installment faced head on but in the fact that even for immortals such as Eric Northman and Russell Edgington, the threat of the one true death is always there. The cycle of life--and of death--keeps on turning and nothing can prevent this neverending dance from cont

Over the Edge: Brief Thoughts on Showtime's Weeds and The Big C

It's only fitting in a way that Showtime would schedule Season Six of Weeds with the new dark comedy The Big C , both of which kick off tonight on the pay cabler. In their own way, both series deal with the efforts of two women to survive in any way possible when faced with the insurmountable obstacle of death. On Weeds , Mary-Louise Parker's Nancy Botwin has spent the last five seasons attempting to keep her family together, getting deeper and deeper into treacherous waters after the untimely death of her husband, willing to literally get in bed with dangerous people in order to survive. While the drama isn't as (soapily) high on The Big C , which airs a half an hour later, it's just as powerful as Laura Linney's Cathy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis and attempts to create a new way of living when faced with death itself, embarking on a journey in which she discovers her crazy again. For an uptight and controlling woman like Cathy, her last chance at livin

Channel Surfing: Bones Bounces Sabato, Sam Page Lands Gossip, SOA's Hunnam Talks Season 3, Victor Webster to Castle, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. TV Guide Magazine 's Will Keck is reporting that Bones producers have turned lemons into lemonade with their upcoming Jersey Shore -inspired episode, following the breakdown in talks with The Situation. Instead, Bones has recruited Antonio Sabato Jr. to play a "guido bouncer at a Jersey Shore club that Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and Booth (David Boreanaz) visit to question someone involved with a murder." ( TV Guide Magazine ) Mad Men 's Sam Page is heading to the Upper East Side, according to Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello, who reports that Page has been cast in a multiple-episode story arc on the CW's Gossip Girl , where he will play a new love interest for Blake Lively's Serena. He's first expected to turn up in an episode slated to air in October. ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Chicago Tribune 's Maureen Ryan--soon to be AOL's chief television critic--has